INDIANAPOLIS – Give Andrew Luck a defense that allows just 6 points in a ball game, and you might as well already put the ‘W’ in the win column.
That wasn’t the case on Sunday though.
Luck and the Colts had a bunch of firsts on Sunday, and not the ones that will be going on his now fading MVP-resume in 2018.
-A Luck-led offense was shutout for the first time in his 82-game NFL career.
-The Colts came into Sunday 26-0 when Luck is under center and they allow 18 points or less.
-Sunday was the first time the Colts lost in a game when they didn’t allow a touchdown since 1997.
The quarterback was definitely part of the reason why the Colts suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday, losing 6-0 to the Jaguars. Luck finished the afternoon 33-of-52 for 248 yards and was picked off once. His 4.77 yards per attempt number was the third lowest of his career and told the story about the Colts inability to push the ball down the field against a talented Jacksonville defense.
The Colts didn’t have a run or pass play of more than 10 yards until the 4th quarter.
“I know I feel like I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain as the orchestrator of this offense in getting the ball to the open guy enough, didn’t do the simple things enough,” Luck said after Sunday’s loss, as his streak of 34 straight games with a touchdown pass ended. “I’m disappointed in myself. I didn’t feel very sharp. I didn’t feel I was putting the ball in the places to really give guys a chance to catch them.”
The obvious throw Luck would like to have back was an interception on the Colts’ first offensive drive.
After a forced fumble set the Colts up in great field position, the offense faced a 3rd-and-9 from the Jacksonville 41-yard line.
If a first down completion wasn’t there, something underneath had to be completed to keep field goal chances alive. But with Luck under duress, he forced a ball down the field into a crowded zone coverage look around Eric Ebron and Jacksonville cornerback D.J. Hayden made the relatively easy interception.
That was the first of five Colts’ possessions that would cross midfield on Sunday and end with zero points.
The Colts entered Sunday having scored at least 24 points in 8 straight games.
In 60 minutes of action Sunday, they didn’t even get on the scoreboard.
“As good as our defense played and as well as our offense has been playing, you think that 6 points is going to be enough,” Frank Reich said after the stinging divisional loss. “We were certainly down there enough but that’s why you have to make every play count. They deserve a lot of credit for stopping us.”
For the second time this season, the Jaguars bottled up Marlon Mack (27 yards on 8 carries) and the Indy run game.
Trench play was an issue for the Colts as Luck was sacked three times (he had been sacked just twice in the previous 7 games) and felt probably the most pressure he has all year long.
But even when Luck did have time to operate, his early progressions did not lead to the same rhythm this offense has had success with in 2018.
The crazily efficient quarterback Luck had been this season, particularly during the 5-game win streak, was not there on Sunday.
Instead, Luck and the offense produced 0 points for the first time in his college or professional career.
(PHOTO: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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